Archive for January, 2012

Individual Health Coverage For My Family

January 31st, 2012

Health insurance carriers offer many different California health insurance plans to choose from.  Consumers can buy individual health insurance plans for themselves or plans that include family members.  It is always more expensive to cover family members when it comes to buying individual health insurance.  Everyone that applies for individual or family health insurance will have to fill out their health history on the application.

Each applicant may have to go through medical underwriting and may get declined.  Sometimes, the primary applicant may be approved and healthy, but they may deny the spouse or child.  It is up to the applicant whether he or she wants to keep the health insurance for themselves or possibly shop another carrier in hopes to get approved.  Health insurance companies all have different underwriting standards.  So, just because you get denied with one carrier does not mean you will get denied health coverage with another health insurance carrier.

Too Few Americans Getting Screened For Common Cancers

January 30th, 2012

Today, the number of Americans being screened for the most common cancers has been falling below national targets.  Cancers such as colon, breast and cervical cancer are amongst the most common forms of cancers and should be screened often.  The national targets for screening for these cancers is 81 percent.  In 2010, the percent of women being screened for these major cancers was just below 73 percent.

These screenings are crucial to getting the survival rate up for these serious cancers.  The number of screenings vary greatly among the different nationalities in America.  Also, it is expensive to get these screenings regularly.  If someone does not currently have health insurance, then the chance of getting screenings on a regular basis of course decreases significantly.

How Do I Get Approved For Individual Health Insurance?

January 27th, 2012

Unlike group health insurance where you do not go through medical underwriting, individual health insurance works completely different.  Each application that is submitted for individual health insurance will be individually underwritten and goes through a medical screening process.  When you apply, sometimes the health insurance carrier will approve you right away without any action on your part, other than simply filling out the application.  Most other times, you can go through a series of steps before your approved or even denied for health insurance.

Health insurance carriers might require a phone interview if they can not make a determination based on the application.  Also, insurance carriers can request either medical records or a physical exam, or even both.  Usually, medical underwriters will look back about three years worth of history to see what types of claims have gone through the system.  As far as time frame, it usually takes about 3 weeks for you to get a decision.

New School Food Guidelines Mean Healthier Fare

January 26th, 2012

The federal government has always taken the health of the nation very seriously, especially starting with kids.  For a long time now the Obama administration wanted to overhaul the school cafeteria offerings and it seems like that is finally going to happen.  New federal rules released Wednesday that school cafeterias will have to offer much healthier foods to the kids.  The menus now have to feature more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and less salt, fat and fried foods. 

These changes mark the first major system change in 15 years and most believe it will be for the better.  Of course, as a result of this new law kids will start to eat healthier and take better care of themselves from an early age.  However, school spending will be increased because the grocery bills will definitely be higher.  As a result, the federal government will give some aid to schools so they can afford the increased costs to their programs.  About 32 million kids participate in the national school breakfast and lunch program each day.

How Can I Save On Health Insurance?

January 25th, 2012

Health insurance premiums in California have been steadily increasing over the past ten years.  Many consumers are wondering if the health reform will actually make health insurance more affordable.  The Obama supporters claim that the reform will make a level playing field and actually drop the price of health insurance.  This is because the health insurance exchanges will increase competition and everyone will have equal information, and this will ultimately drive the price of health insurance down.

But what can consumers do now to get their individual health insurance premiums lower?  If your a healthier individual, then applying for a health insurance plan with a higher deductible will give you better pricing.  Also, if you are not very particular about which doctor you visit, then picking a plan with a reduced network will also save you some money.  Another way to save money is to have lower prescription drug benefits.  If you do not currently take any medication, then make sure your plan does not have rich drug benefits.

Health Care Overhaul Lags In States

January 24th, 2012

The major portion of the health care reform is set to be fully implemented by 2014, but many states are not ready for the changes.  Up to 33 states are lagging when it comes to getting people insured and making health insurance more affordable.  In fact, the states that are lagging comprise 42 percent of the uninsured population.  The law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, is under major scrutiny ever since Obama passed it two years ago.  Health insurance has not decreased from a premium standpoint and many are wondering how health insurance will be more affordable in the future.

Many states are also still against the health reform laws in general.  States that are opposed say that the new laws are unconstitutional and that the legislation is not sustainable.  The Supreme Court will be ruling this summer about the health reform and deciding whether or not to uphold the law.  Some states are waiting to see what the ruling is before they start the process of getting a health insurance exchange implemented.

Medical Insurance In California And The Networks

January 23rd, 2012

California is one of the largest markets when in comes to health insurance.  There are many health insurance carriers to choose from.  One of the biggest is Anthem Blue Cross of California.  They have millions of members and are one of the biggest when its comes to volume.  Also, Blue Shield of California has many member in the state and many choose between the two.  Individual health insurance is usually weighted more towards PPO and less on HMO.  Their are many more plans on the PPO side than HMO.

Blue Shield has started to offer retail centers so customers can walk up in person and get new policies or ask questions about their existing plan.  These retail centers are popping up in grocery stores all around the state.  This is because the demand for California health insurance has increased dramatically over the last few years.  Many companies have stopped offering insurance and unemployment still remains very high.

Does A High-Deductible Plan Work For Me?

January 19th, 2012

Many people ask what type of PPO health insurance plan would make the most sense for them.  The deductible, the amount of money your responsible for before insurance kicks in, usually drives the monthly premium costs.  If your considered generally a healthier person, then maybe a higher deductible plan would be best because the monthly premium is lower than average.  However, sometimes it does serve you better to get richer benefits so when you use the insurance, you are not paying so much out of pocket.

As with anything, it is important to shop and compare all the available options.  There are many carriers available and all types of insurance products.  With individual insurance, PPOs are more popular as consumers want the freedom to choose their doctors without the need of referrals.  Use our site, www.healthinsuranceoutlet.com, to shop and compare individual and family health insurance and find the right plan for you.

Changes To Individual Health Insurance Plans In California

January 17th, 2012

Recent changes to our nation’s health care system have provided a significant range of protection options to the general public, particularly to the less privileged and the self-supporting individuals.

Private and public health plans alike have been impacted by the reforms, involving insurance plans for those with pre-existing conditions, individual health insurance, and self-employed health plans. Access to federally-funded, pre-existing condition health plans has been expanded, thus providing coverage to children below 19 years of age. Health insurance plans can no longer disqualify, nor deny, any person on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions. The new California state law includes various federal health reforms, including transparency on individual health insurance premiums, age limits for dependents, children’s pre-existing health conditions, free preventive care services, and many others.

In 2014, it is required that every individual must have medical coverage or face a penalty charge of one percent on total income the first year, with the charge increasing to two percent in succeeding years. Many supporters thought the movement would assist every private and self-employed individual to enjoy competitive individual health insurance coverage from many different insurance firms. The assumption was there would be an increase in participation of private and non-profit insurance companies, as well as encourage more and healthier competition among insurers and insurance products in terms of keeping costs stable and enhancing coverage and quality of service.

But are other issues developing as health care changes move forward? Will there be an increase in healthy competition or will the opposite occur?

Critics of the program believe this act may force an increasing number of health insurance providers to leave the business when the alternative is spending part of their profit margins on servicing customers that previously had been denied care.  According to a recent article published in Forbes magazine, for-profit health insurers are opting to leave the business than comply with the new requirements that would mandate a percentage of the profits be spent on providing actual health care, not covering their own administrative costs. Unfortunately, among those leaving are key players in the industry, leaving those seeking health care with fewer options than before. This is already occurring in states such as California. Many fear that the new requirements, according to the Forbes article, will make the insurance business simply not worth pursuing.

Will this mean less individual health insurance options for all consumers, including California residents, and the move toward a more unified system?  Will the state-sponsored Health Insurance Exchanges that are a part of the mandate be an ideal solution to help keep insured options open? Such Health Insurance Exchanges are already taking shape today. Each state must now have these exchanges available by the year 2014, per federal law. The health insurance exchange is intended to help individuals and small businessmen choose, compare, and buy health plans within their budget.  The intent of the exchanges is to allow the individual and self-employed access to various individual California health insurance plans and options that work for them, within their budget. Critics argue it will only fail, resulting in higher premiums and less options for those seeking coverage.

Regardless of which side of the health care debate you sit on, it’s undeniable that changes are already occurring for both insurance agencies and the consumers they insure.

To find out more about the many health care reforms and changes now taking place in California, click here. We’re your one-stop resource for health insurance, as well as the most current information to keep you updated as these changes to our country’s health care system unfold.

New Year For Health Insurance

January 16th, 2012

Many individuals are getting their new year resolutions started early.  Health insurance applications always rise in January as many consumers feel its a right time to get health coverage for the remainder of the year.  With individual health insurance, their is no contract and people can cancel anytime.  With deductibles, they reset every January and many people want to start the new year with coverage so they can be in par with the annual deductible.

Also, health insurance is obviously something that is very important, and people want to start the new year off right.  Health coverage is offered through many different health insurance carriers in California.  Anthem Blue Cross is the biggest health insurance company in California, and also one of the biggest in the U.S..  Many people will shop and compare health insurance coverage to find the best health insurance plan for their budget.

Health Insurance Carriers Profit

January 13th, 2012

Many health insurance carriers were opposed to the health reform laws passed almost two years.  Now, many are profiting from the changes made by the Obama administration.  In fact, many health insurance companies spent millions of dollars to try to stop the health reform from being passed to begin with.  However, insurance companies are now realizing that maybe the reform might be profitable for them as well.  Health insurance companies saw record profits over the last year.  In fact, Anthem Blue Cross said that this past quarter was one of their busiest ever. 

Wellpoint, the nation’s biggest insurer by membership, said that the 4th quarter was the most profitable they had in the last decade.  Part of the record increase is due to the fact that many individuals are still out of work and do not have access to group insurance through employers.  Also, people are realizing how important health insurance is to them and their households.

Health Care Reform And The Changes For You

January 12th, 2012

Starting in 2014, the health care reform will take full affect.  Many employers that do not offer insurance may be required to offer health coverage or they will face a penalty.  On the individual side, everyone must have health insurance coverage by 2014 or they will face penalties.  The main purpose of the health care reform is to make health insurance more affordable and give Americans quality health care, or at least a chance to get it at a reasonable price.

The Obama administration faces a lot of pressure in the upcoming election as many think if a Republican wins the office that the health reform will be repealed or changed significantly.  The health insurance exchanges, that are required to be up and running in each state by 2014, should make the health insurance market more competitive and hopefully drive down the health insurance premiums.  Many critics do not think that the health reform will have much impact to the affordability of health insurance.  The next two years will be very interesting and crucial for many Americans.  Health insurance as continued to increase over the last ten years, by as much as 100% over that time span.

Study Shows Statins To Higher Diabetes In Older Women

January 11th, 2012

Millions of Americans take statin medications to lower their cholesterol every year.  What they do not know that they might be at risk to get diabetes.  Especially for women, a regular habit of taking statin may make women at a higher risk to get diabetes in the future.  Although the study points out that it might increase the risk of diabetes, doctors say that their are positive outcomes of taking statin like preventing heart attacks and strokes.

The results of the study are staggering though, a nearly 50% increase for statin users to be more at risk to obtain diabetes.  Many users of the drugs have no choice because they use it fight off potential risk with previous heart or stroke problems.  Doctors urge patients to first ask to see if it is safe to stop the usage of statins or to keep the drug as a daily use.

Individual Health Insurance

January 10th, 2012

Getting approved for individual health insurance is not as easy as one might think.  The research and comparing plans is not the hard part, it is actually getting approved because of your health which seems to be the major obstacle.  Unlike group health insurance through an employer, individual plans have to go through medical underwriting.  What this means is that health insurance carriers can deny you health coverage is they think that it will cost them too much money.  Many consumers that have complications such as diabetes or cancer find themselves getting rejected by health insurance carriers.

The new health reform laws are trying to change all this.  Starting in 2014, health insurance carriers are not allowed to deny someone health coverage because of a pre-existing condition.  Additionally, the health reform is supposed to make health insurance more affordable for individuals and families.  The results are yet to be seen and many are waiting to see if it will be a success.

Survey Shows California Healthcare Costs Rising, Benefits Shrinking

January 9th, 2012

A recent survey shows that fewer companies offered their workers health insurance last year and the ones that offered health insurance made the employees contribute more towards the premiums.  The survey was conducted by the California Healthcare Foundation and their findings were worse than expected.  The economy has really taken its toll on employers and many companies are trying to find ways to cut costs everyday.

The survey showed that the number of companies that offer health insurance dropped from 73 percent to 63 percent.  That ten percent drop is very significant experts say.  Additionally, the plans that health insurance carriers offer are also going down as far as benefits are concerned.  That also puts many uninsured individuals in the marketplace.  That is partly why their has been such a large spike in applications for individual health insurance in California.  California health insurance has been a problem for many years, and now that the health reform is starting to take shape, many are hoping for better outcomes in the future.

The Affordable Care Act Helps Americans Save Money

January 6th, 2012

Health insurance premiums have continued to rise for years.  In fact, over the last decade health insurance premiums have increased three times as fast as wages.  This is not good news for consumers.  As the economy continues to struggle, many households are wondering if they can afford to have health insurance.  Additionally, those who are currently uninsured always have that anxiety of unexpected medical costs eating away at their savings.  From a company standpoint it does not get much better.  Many smaller companies have decided either to reduce their coverage and contribution or get rid of their health coverage all together. 

The Affordable Care Act was passed health coverage can become more affordable.  The main way this is going to happen is the competition for insurance has increased.  This will force insurance carriers to decrease their health insurance premiums and become more competitive.  The health reform laws passed in 2010 will have a big impact to the US economy and also to each household.  In 2014, the health insurance exchanges will be up and running which will be another way consumers and small businesses can save.

California Health Insurance

January 5th, 2012

California is one of the largest markets when it comes to individual health insurance.  Their are millions of people insured either by their employer, on their own or through a public program.  Also, there are millions of Californians currently uninsured as well.  The economy is forced many to leave or get fired from their job and as a result they have lost their group coverage. 

However, their is hope for Californians looking to get individual health insurance.  In California, their are many carriers that offer all types of medical insurance to choose from.  Consumers can comparison shop and find the right plans and rates that fir their budget.  On www.healthinsuranceoutlet.com, consumers can find health insurance quotes from all the major health insurance carriers in California and even apply right online.  We make it easy to see your options and save money now.

Adjusting To The Upcoming Health Reform

January 3rd, 2012

In a couple of years the new health reform should take full effect.  Meaning, many Americans will be required to get health insurance or they  will face a penalty from the government.  Many critics say that forcing consumers to get health insurance is unconstitutional and the government should not get involved in the private sector.  However, the purpose of the health reform laws is to make health insurance more affordable for Americans and also allow those with pre-existing conditions to not get denied.

Whether or not the health reform actually make health insurance more affordable is going to be a toss up.  However, removing the pre-existing clause and also no lifetime maximum rule will also be very helpful for those that are very sick.  That is just the problem though with all of this.  The sick will be driving the cost of health insurance up for the healthy.  In the next two years, the political power may shift and the health reform could easily be altered.